Here Comes the Night
Here Comes the Night, Alan Gilliss third collection, broadens and deepens the range of Hawks and Doves, hailed by Peter McDonald as a decisive volume in the developing story of poetry from Northern Ireland, full of independence, imaginative strength, and a confidence that is fully justified. Go on and Google yourself, he writes in a book that is uncommonly alert, alive and attuned to the current moment. Many of the protagonists in his poems waver, suspended between states of mind on the streets of Belfast and Basra (and a dream there of leave when well get hammered on Remembrance Day). That suspense permeates his wild extended narratives that expose a phantasmagorical vision which ranges From an ASBO to Asda, taking in city bankers and inept gangsters along the way. Alan Gilliss epicurean delight in language and adventurous formal dexterity create a world that embraces the graffiti of industrial dereliction and the grace of a fathers love. Here Comes the Night is sometimes comic, sometimes menacing and always dynamic. Intent on craic though sensitive to the cracks in society and in the self, it expresses a contemporary culture and confirms that Alan Gillis, as he constructs a spectacular body of work, is a potent force.
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